“How long will it be before Joe Lieberman is expelled from the Democratic Party?”–question from my brother. It’s a good question, and goes right along with “How long before Hollywood expels Ricky Gervais?” Being the lone voice of reason in a cacophony of self-righteous chanted echos of “Orange Man Bad!” tends to raise the ire of those participating in the chorus.
Just like Gervais filleted Hollywood–to their faces–Lieberman, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, has slapped the Democrats silly with a mackerel for their defense of human garbage, namely Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, simply because it was Trump who ordered the military strike against him.
After World War II, Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, a Michigan Republican who was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, formed a bipartisan partnership with President Truman that helped secure the postwar peace and greatly strengthened America’s position in the Cold War. “Politics stops at the water’s edge,” said Vandenberg when asked why he worked so closely with a Democratic president. He added that his fellow Americans undoubtedly had “earnest, honest, even vehement” differences of opinion on foreign policy, but if “we can keep partisan politics out of foreign affairs, it is entirely obvious that we shall speak with infinitely greater authority abroad.”
In other words: some things are not partisan, like dealing with foreign threats. But in today’s divided Washington, there’s literally no topic off-limits from partisan narrative.
Recounting Soleimani’s crimes against Americans, and against humanity, doesn’t seem to penetrate the bubble of Trump Derangement Syndrome affecting Washington Democrats and their media lapdogs. No matter how many times the litany of offenses, and the danger of Soleimani’s continued existence is read, the best Democrats can muster is a weak “yes, but…”
Lieberman rebuked those Democrats for acting out of fear, flirting with calling their position cowardice:
Yet if we allow fear of a self-declared enemy like Iran to dictate our actions, we will only encourage them to come after us and our allies more aggressively. Some Democrats have said that killing Soleimani will lead us into war with Iran. In fact, Soleimani and the Quds Force have been at war with the U.S. for years. It is more likely that his death will diminish the chances of a wider conflict because the demonstration of our willingness to kill him will give Iranian leaders (and probably others like Kim Jong Un) much to fear.
The former Democratic Senator is right. Calling out Trump for acting against a clear and present threat because they are afraid it will escalate violence when Iran has been chanting “death to America!” and behaving ever more aggressively for years is giving in to a bully–and a big kid caving to a bully is an ugly and dangerous image for America to parade before the world.
Lieberman chided Democrats for their contention that Trump’s action lacked legal authority, calling it “constitutionally untenable and practically senseless.” He wrote “It defies common sense to argue that the president must notify Congress or begin a formal process of authorization before acting on an imminent threat.” Who said common sense was required in a political narrative? But shouldn’t we expect our highest elected officeholders to have just a little bit of it?
Here’s the kicker. As our own Peter Heck wrote, Lieberman wondered if Democrats have strayed so far off the path of reason that their senseless partisan fantasies would serve the very object of their hate.
If enough voters decide that Democrats can’t be trusted to keep America safe, Mr. Trump won’t have much trouble winning a second term in November. That’s one more reason Democrats should leave partisan politics at “the water’s edge” and, whatever their opinion of President Trump on other matters, stand together against Iran and dangerous leaders like Qasem Soleimani.
So far, I see no sign that Democrats are listening, just as Hollywood stars didn’t listen to Gervais. They are deaf to all but their own smug insular fabulism and partisan extremism.